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MUST I eat carbs to gain muscle mass?

by (2407)
Updated about 15 hours ago
Created March 28, 2012 at 6:07 AM

I've been on a mass gain training cycle lately. I've also been enjoing VLC and eating basically only meat and greens for three months; My hunger is satisfied. Mood is great. Energy for my weightlifting is non stop diesel fuel. It's great! The only caveat is I'm not gaining mass!

My base calories are supposedly @2000-2200Cal. I'm eating three times a day 9-3-9, 3.0 grams protein / kilo body mass (about 180 grams/day), @200 grams fat/day, around 2500 cal/day in meat and fat only, plus an extra 200 or so calories from green non-starchy veggies. I take Mg, Ca, D, E, plus occasional liver.

My meat is lamb for breakfast, chicken breast or sashimi and coconut oil for lunch, and beef and veggies for dinner.....mostly raw meat btw.

I feel GREAT without carbs but I'm not gaining. This week I tried eating 50 grams carb from sweet potatoes post workout. I immediately felt flush in the face, headache,mood drop and anxiety, and overall aversion to it. I didnt enjoy eating them at all, def not carb addicted. I was hungry all day instead of my usual fat burning diesel cruise control feeling, and nearly fell asleep at work instead of being alert when carb free. This is with carbs being an ADDITIONAL 200 calories to the above.

I realize I've become carb intolerant and fat adapted. Perhaps over some weeks I could tolerate carbs better. But must I eat carbs to gain muscle mass? I've been a strong wiry hard gainer all my life no matter WHAT I've tried!

Ideas?

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3150 · March 21, 2013 at 11:02 AM

@animaleater I see by your questions and answers that we are interested in almost the same stuff :D

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2407 · November 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

And they jack up your insulin so you shut down ketosis and fat burning during fasted training, and when you eat carbs post workout, you're fat cells are ready to receive.

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2407 · November 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

And they jack up your insulin so you store anything you shut down ketosis and fat burning during fasted training.

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839 · May 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I think endurance on VLC comes with time, and pushing yourself just like anything else... Peter Attia had a similar experience, and worked through the difficult times to overall improve his performance at moderate intensity endurance activities. I'm still working on Volek's book, I'm sure there's more good info there as well.

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2407 · May 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM

"after eating carbs, food the next day that normally fills me up doesnt"....my experience exactly. actually, now that i eat lamb and beef daily, i cant even eat chicken or fish and achieve satiety, no matter the added coconut oil. now, im talking about satiety, not hormonal disruptions. carbs screw up the the later.

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2407 · May 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM

hey, sorry i missed these responses. yeah, ive read all about that experment. about a month ago, i started experimenting with going days with only meat. now, eat veggies maybe 2-3x per week and feel great. i used to be a cyclist. gave it up last year because of chronic ITB overuse. But, I still like to speed hike up big mountains, and when Ive tried it on my current no carb fat burning mode, i am slow, and my legs burn like hell. so endurance for me at this point is compromised. perhaps i need to keep doing it to get better at it. but i dont think ill ever be as fast as on sugar.

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839 · March 31, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Check out this article on the Eskimos... http://drbass.com/stefansson1.html... These guys spent years with the Eskimos only eating meat, then came home and did a year long experiment eating only meat while living a normal New York life, to prove it works everywhere, not just in the arctic! I'm not giving up my veggies any time soon, but just thought you might be interested, I found it amazing how much we seem to forget.

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839 · March 31, 2012 at 4:03 PM

30-35 miles... with everything I've been told I should have died, but I felt strong, so maybe we've just VLC adapted to the point where carbs aren't really needed.

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839 · March 31, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Carb loading for me doesn't really feel bad PWO per se... other than I go into tired/nap mode... the problem is, I tend to go overboard with the carbs (gf pancakes are my nemesis) unless I consciously limit them. Like you said though, anything over 50g and I feel crappy the next day... my mind isn't clear, and the food that normally would fill me up the next day doesn't, I'm all out of whack. Lifting feels great VLC, and I've even started experimenting a bit with road cycling... I'm not riding with the pros or anything, but these guys are in shape and generally pull in the low 20's mph for

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2407 · March 30, 2012 at 4:21 AM

Actually, carbs irritate my digestion, meat and fat make my tummy happy, when eaten without carbs.

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1317 · March 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

animaleater, *you are not eating enough*. Consider the possibility that you feel lousy when you eat some carbohydrates because you are starving. 2500 kcal is not enough, especially if you are training hard and weigh 67 kg, and a 2 kg weight gain is not enough for you to be able to say with any certainty that it was "half muscle, half fat." Stop being afraid of carbs, they're a vital part of any weight-gain regime. Ryan is right.

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318 · March 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Delorme's modified cycle? ^

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15966 · March 29, 2012 at 2:51 PM

you prolly don't need carbs but it'd sure make it easier. the hormonal signaling that will help you grow muscle mass will come easier without a lack of macro, plus it'll be a helluva lot easier on your digestion. Getting all those cals from fat and protein would prolly be less than ideal for your tummy

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5188 · March 29, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Possibly eating the wrong foods then. In any case, I'd say that you want to be careful of having too much faith in any given program. There's always room for improvement on an individual basis. That said, you say in another comment that you're still gaining strength so I'm not sure there's any problem to solve!

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Suffer with VLC that is.

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:25 AM

Maybe it's our body type. We seem to have had similar experiences. Others suffer with VLV but we seem to feel better. Workout energy, at least for heavy weights training, is BETTER and more stable, and longer lasting. DIESEL! if carb loading didn't work for you, I'm wondering it it will for me. How did you FEEL when carb loading PWO? I feel immediately tingly in the face, in a bad way.

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Yeah I'm 6'2" 145! Strength to weight ratio is good, but I need more mass. I MOST CERTAINLY felt better cutting out all carbs but green veggies too. And since I've become keto adapted, and feel AWESOME on that diesel fuel non stop feeling, I think my body totally doesn't know what to do with carbs....just 50g carbs post training and I feel irritable, edgy, cranky, then sleepy and unfocused. Feels like the sugar stays in my blood, and isn't going into my muscles.

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:18 AM

This is well written and helpful. Thanks. In theory I agree with you. When used to cycle (bikes) HARD I would carb load during and post workout. Now I think I've become so keto adapted, my muscles aren't accepting the circulating sugar from my post workout starch. Blood sugar stays high for hours it feels, and it's quite uncomfortable.

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:14 AM

I'm already gaining some belly fat at 2500 calories. :(

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 5:55 PM

And I'd say try eating more, you can't stay insatiable forever.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 3:39 PM

People really should comment if they disagree, rather than just downvoting.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Thru my workout. Then I'm not even hungry for hours.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I'm following the Pavel modified DeLorme protocol to the letter, recovering excellently, and progressing in strength. My strength plateau was before I started this protocol, found in Pavel's Beyond Bodybuilding book. Using kettlebells and barbell deadlifts. Don't feel over trained at all. For me, I got used to keto training quickly. I need zero carb to feel powerful all thru my workouts. That sluggish, weak feeling folks talk about when trying to weight train VLC went away in 3 weeks. I eat 325 grams of raw lamb, a TBS of cod oil, wait an hour, and feel like I'm on diesel fuel all

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:05 PM

It's actually Japanese yam, satsumaimo. I peel them to remove antinutrients, and steam them well. I could try kaboucha squash too, but satsumaimo has a reasonably low GI. I have some sort of gut sickness; Allergic to gluten and dairy protein, and any grain including rice irritates my gut. Yams don't seem to so much.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:01 PM

In ADDITION to my fat and protein calories.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Interesting. That's basically the leangains line. Its what I'm trying. Starting with 50g carbs post workout meal 3x week, Japanese Yam (satsumaimo). It makes me feel awful. Flush in the face, mood drops, yuck. I think I've become insulin resistant/carb unadapted since being keto adapted. Not sure the glucose is going into the muscle....feels like it stays in my blood a long time. I'll try for a few weeks to see if I adapt. By it feels awful.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I'm allergic to casein and whey, so no Dairy. Sugar has always made me feel terrible. Fructose messes up my leptin/hunger regulation . At first I was low carb with only fruit...as soon as I cut that out my hunger vanished. My skinny insatiable body has NEVER screamed for me to stop eating, no matter how much I ate. I just got home from all you can eat steak btw....are at least a kilo and coulda kept eating.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Of course you may just need more time, or a different perspective on whether you really are reaching failure and executing the plan correctly. Or the plan may be flawed. If you don't improve two workouts in a row then you either aren't reaching your limit in the workouts or you haven't recovered - in which case you need more food, more sleep or more time. It's up to you to experiment and find which factor makes the difference. You could probably benefit from all 3. Still 2500 calories isn't that much. If your body doesn't scream at you to stop eating you could probably eat more.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Eating more anything is asking to get fat. If you're in a rush to add muscle then you'll almost certainly gain a bit of fat along the way. My point was simply that if you think you might gain faster or better by eating more then you might as well eat more fat rather than add carbs. As you say, fat is a better fuel for you. Where are you with sugars though - throwing berries and honey in can add a lot with less stress on the digestion than a potato. It's an option. Also, are you avoiding dairy? And if so is there any good reason? Better options for adding calories in my opinion.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Thanks. The cycle has only been 2 months. Just wanna give it everything it takes.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 8:46 AM

How could I significantly increase calories/food without eating carbs? I'm already at the protein ceiling with 3G/kilo bodymass (nobody here seems to advocate more than that), and getting nearly 200 grams of fat a day. Seems eating MORE fat than that is asking to GET FAT. I certainly dont feel ANY need to use carbs for energy or recovery; ketones are working great. I appreciate the help.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I'm looking to gain mass because at some point, you just need more muscle to get stronger. I've gained A LOT of strength over the years, but unless I ass some mass, I'm at a plateau. I've trained Pavel Tsastouline style focusing on strength for years. Now I'm using his mass gaining routine....heavy weights, 5 reps, many sets, compressed rest periods, 3x week, heavy/light/medium days and waving the load. I've gained 2kg, half fat. Definitely pushing hard, muscles eventually won't contract anymore during a workout, but energy and will never dies....diesel feeling!

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Bodyweight was 65k now 67k, gained about half muscle half fat. As I mentioned, the 200 veggie cals are on top of the 2500 from meat and fat. I don't count them. I'm training HARD Pavel Tsatsouline mass routine, heavy weights, many sets, compressed rest periods, 3x week, and I never feel glycogen depleted on fat alone as ketones seem to be fueling me well. I'm TRYING to add back the starches, but it's making me feel like crap. I'm really VLC/keto adapted. I don't feel I need starch to recover AT ALL, just not gaining mass.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 7:29 AM

If you're properly adapted then you'll have a really difficult time using up all your muscle glycogen in a workout. And unless you're working out intensely for several hours every day, there's no real rush. Of course if you've never been successfully vlc then you would most likely feel you needed starch to recover.

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5768 · March 28, 2012 at 3:04 PM

I used to compete in bodybuilding and even though I don't follow the 7-8 meals a day/low fat mantra, I still think that the growth hormone response you get from insulin is one of the most powerful muscle building tools you can use, IF used properly. Carbohydrates can definitely be anabolic. There is a reason why drug using bodybuilders risk there health by injecting themselves with insulin in the "off season", because it's effective. I'm not advocating or agreeing with this stupid decision AT ALL.....just making a point.

Simply, the definition of anabolic is "of or related to the synthetic phase of metabolism." The synthetic phase of metabolism that is referred to is protein synthesis, the process by which cells make new protein. Briefly, some signals for growth (hormones, nutrients, etc.) causes an increase in the rate at which new proteins are synthesized within the cell. When this process occurs on a large scale over time in skeletal muscle, it is referred to as skeletal muscle hypertrophy (growth). Therefore, in order for carbohydrates to be defined as anabolic, there must be conclusive evidence that carbohydrate ingestion increases skeletal muscle protein synthesis. There is a lot of research and evidence to support this hypothesis.

So when I say IF used properly, I am talking about mainly post workout. Using a protein + high carbohydrate meal post workout can be superior in terms of increasing protein synthesis, but it will also be superior for increasing glycogen replenishment, limiting protein breakdown, and enhancing recovery from exercise. All these things aid in muscle growth. The mistake people make, especially in bodybuilding, is they think the same will apply if they eat loads of carbohydrates throughout the day and every day. I don't believe this is necessary and in my opinion greats a constant glycogen load which decreases the positive effect of that post workout "window". Now there are some theories out there about cyclical carbohydrate intake for muscle growth, but the research is still fairly new and gets kind of complicated to explain.

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:18 AM

This is well written and helpful. Thanks. In theory I agree with you. When used to cycle (bikes) HARD I would carb load during and post workout. Now I think I've become so keto adapted, my muscles aren't accepting the circulating sugar from my post workout starch. Blood sugar stays high for hours it feels, and it's quite uncomfortable.

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60 · March 28, 2012 at 7:20 AM

2500 cals at what bodyweight? Don't know your bodyweight but that might not be enough for you to gain mass. Also, I wouldn't count the non starchy veggies as calories, they basically net you close to zero calories when all is said and done.

To gain muscle mass, in my experience, carbohydrates from decent starch sources are going to be crucial in replenishing muscle glycogen. Unless you have a good reason, decent carbohydrate sources are also a useful and benign way to add calories to your diet when looking to gain muscle mass. On your current diet plan it would be very difficult to see decent gains. I would say slowly add carbs back in. Bottom line: Don't fear the carbs

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1317 · March 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

animaleater, *you are not eating enough*. Consider the possibility that you feel lousy when you eat some carbohydrates because you are starving. 2500 kcal is not enough, especially if you are training hard and weigh 67 kg, and a 2 kg weight gain is not enough for you to be able to say with any certainty that it was "half muscle, half fat." Stop being afraid of carbs, they're a vital part of any weight-gain regime. Ryan is right.

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318 · March 29, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Delorme's modified cycle? ^

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Bodyweight was 65k now 67k, gained about half muscle half fat. As I mentioned, the 200 veggie cals are on top of the 2500 from meat and fat. I don't count them. I'm training HARD Pavel Tsatsouline mass routine, heavy weights, many sets, compressed rest periods, 3x week, and I never feel glycogen depleted on fat alone as ketones seem to be fueling me well. I'm TRYING to add back the starches, but it's making me feel like crap. I'm really VLC/keto adapted. I don't feel I need starch to recover AT ALL, just not gaining mass.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 7:29 AM

If you're properly adapted then you'll have a really difficult time using up all your muscle glycogen in a workout. And unless you're working out intensely for several hours every day, there's no real rush. Of course if you've never been successfully vlc then you would most likely feel you needed starch to recover.

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Well, after carb loading PWO twice, I'm giving up and sticking with meat and fat for now. While I see the compelling arguements of carb PWO, and agree in theory, my body simply won't have it. Today was a rest day and I ate VLC as usual. I got dizzy, grumpy, lightheaded, and STARVING between usual meal times, which VLC had ELIMINATED! The carbs have upset my hunger signals again. I just got home and downed a raw beef smoothie I make in my commercial blender, with extra tallow, and I'm smiling my belly feels so happy! No muscle gain is worth feeling like crap. It's not like I'm trying to stop carbs....I don't want them. I crave meat! Thanks for all the great answers. For now my blood sugar gets too screwed up to eat carbs.

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839 · March 28, 2012 at 5:04 PM

animaleater, I'm kind of in the same boat... VLC diet, feeling great and my lifting is improving but I can't seem to break 170 lbs (6'2")... I've been thin my whole life as well, and I would definitely put myself in the "hard gainer" category.

I use to eat more of PHD, but after cutting out all the starchy carbs (I still eat veggies) I've felt a lot better. Honestly I didn't gain any real muscle mass doing cabs PWO and cycling either, I just felt slow, sleepy and unfocused...

So, my thought is this... I eat the way that makes me feel the best (Diesel Fuel!), I don't restrict calories (eat until I'm full), lift heavy and make progress in strength. I figure at some point I'll inevitably gain mass as I get stronger, it just might take longer than I first thought.

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839 · May 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I think endurance on VLC comes with time, and pushing yourself just like anything else... Peter Attia had a similar experience, and worked through the difficult times to overall improve his performance at moderate intensity endurance activities. I'm still working on Volek's book, I'm sure there's more good info there as well.

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2407 · May 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM

"after eating carbs, food the next day that normally fills me up doesnt"....my experience exactly. actually, now that i eat lamb and beef daily, i cant even eat chicken or fish and achieve satiety, no matter the added coconut oil. now, im talking about satiety, not hormonal disruptions. carbs screw up the the later.

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2407 · May 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM

hey, sorry i missed these responses. yeah, ive read all about that experment. about a month ago, i started experimenting with going days with only meat. now, eat veggies maybe 2-3x per week and feel great. i used to be a cyclist. gave it up last year because of chronic ITB overuse. But, I still like to speed hike up big mountains, and when Ive tried it on my current no carb fat burning mode, i am slow, and my legs burn like hell. so endurance for me at this point is compromised. perhaps i need to keep doing it to get better at it. but i dont think ill ever be as fast as on sugar.

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839 · March 31, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Check out this article on the Eskimos... http://drbass.com/stefansson1.html... These guys spent years with the Eskimos only eating meat, then came home and did a year long experiment eating only meat while living a normal New York life, to prove it works everywhere, not just in the arctic! I'm not giving up my veggies any time soon, but just thought you might be interested, I found it amazing how much we seem to forget.

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839 · March 31, 2012 at 4:03 PM

30-35 miles... with everything I've been told I should have died, but I felt strong, so maybe we've just VLC adapted to the point where carbs aren't really needed.

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839 · March 31, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Carb loading for me doesn't really feel bad PWO per se... other than I go into tired/nap mode... the problem is, I tend to go overboard with the carbs (gf pancakes are my nemesis) unless I consciously limit them. Like you said though, anything over 50g and I feel crappy the next day... my mind isn't clear, and the food that normally would fill me up the next day doesn't, I'm all out of whack. Lifting feels great VLC, and I've even started experimenting a bit with road cycling... I'm not riding with the pros or anything, but these guys are in shape and generally pull in the low 20's mph for

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Suffer with VLC that is.

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:25 AM

Maybe it's our body type. We seem to have had similar experiences. Others suffer with VLV but we seem to feel better. Workout energy, at least for heavy weights training, is BETTER and more stable, and longer lasting. DIESEL! if carb loading didn't work for you, I'm wondering it it will for me. How did you FEEL when carb loading PWO? I feel immediately tingly in the face, in a bad way.

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Yeah I'm 6'2" 145! Strength to weight ratio is good, but I need more mass. I MOST CERTAINLY felt better cutting out all carbs but green veggies too. And since I've become keto adapted, and feel AWESOME on that diesel fuel non stop feeling, I think my body totally doesn't know what to do with carbs....just 50g carbs post training and I feel irritable, edgy, cranky, then sleepy and unfocused. Feels like the sugar stays in my blood, and isn't going into my muscles.

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4625 · March 28, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Yes, post workout, that is why strength training is best for diabetics, muscle growth loves carbs. Post carbs for gains. And if you are not an athlete, don't eat like one.

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15226 · March 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM

You could try a different source of carbs. Sweet potatoes are high in oxalates, and could bother a person depending on other factors. I found myself consuming a lot of high oxalate foods like spinach, carrots, beets, and of course sweet potatoes, and have felt better since I reduced them.

Maybe try white rice or butternut squash?

Or you were feeling a blood sugar spike... boiling the sweet potatoes will cause less of a blood sugar spike, as will adding butter. I add lots and there's no real sugar spike.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:05 PM

It's actually Japanese yam, satsumaimo. I peel them to remove antinutrients, and steam them well. I could try kaboucha squash too, but satsumaimo has a reasonably low GI. I have some sort of gut sickness; Allergic to gluten and dairy protein, and any grain including rice irritates my gut. Yams don't seem to so much.

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1489 · March 28, 2012 at 8:16 AM

someone once told me it can take up to 5 months of hard work and consistent training for the mass to start building in your muscles so you're on the right track. if you feel good, you're doing well. remember there would've been a time for transition in the beginning, and now you're used to it your body might have had max two months of training. keep up the hard work. I say try all out for a total 6 months and if nothing has changed then maybe have a tinker?

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Thanks. The cycle has only been 2 months. Just wanna give it everything it takes.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 7:26 AM

I don't know if we have anything categorical on this. I would say no, because it shouldn't be necessary. However if you're looking to gain for appearance then that falls outside the natural or evolutionary remit. Have you been gaining strength? It's possible that you're simply not pushing yourself hard enough to encourage significant gains, or allowing enough recovery (although it sounds like you're flush with energy so it's probably more likely the former). There's also room for significantly increasing the amount you're eating without necessarily going to carbs - it seems sensible to at least try that since you've no other reason to want to add carbs at this time.

I think it's been established that carbs aren't necessary post-workout (or any time really) for protein synthesis, the bigger issue is that without pumping up your glycogen stores you lose out on that 'bulk' (and the water that gets trapped with it) which makes your muscles appear smaller. There's talk of the necessary anabolic effect of eating, but then people go about fasting for the same purpose - driving up HGH. To be honest, I wouldn't trust any definite answers as I think it's an area that has been saturated by marketing. I'd see what else you could do first to necessitate and adaptation from your body. Then I'd consider what was most important to you. Then, maybe, see if you get better results with adding different carbs - if that's what you want.

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5188 · March 29, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Possibly eating the wrong foods then. In any case, I'd say that you want to be careful of having too much faith in any given program. There's always room for improvement on an individual basis. That said, you say in another comment that you're still gaining strength so I'm not sure there's any problem to solve!

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2407 · March 29, 2012 at 1:14 AM

I'm already gaining some belly fat at 2500 calories. :(

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 5:55 PM

And I'd say try eating more, you can't stay insatiable forever.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 3:39 PM

People really should comment if they disagree, rather than just downvoting.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I'm allergic to casein and whey, so no Dairy. Sugar has always made me feel terrible. Fructose messes up my leptin/hunger regulation . At first I was low carb with only fruit...as soon as I cut that out my hunger vanished. My skinny insatiable body has NEVER screamed for me to stop eating, no matter how much I ate. I just got home from all you can eat steak btw....are at least a kilo and coulda kept eating.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Of course you may just need more time, or a different perspective on whether you really are reaching failure and executing the plan correctly. Or the plan may be flawed. If you don't improve two workouts in a row then you either aren't reaching your limit in the workouts or you haven't recovered - in which case you need more food, more sleep or more time. It's up to you to experiment and find which factor makes the difference. You could probably benefit from all 3. Still 2500 calories isn't that much. If your body doesn't scream at you to stop eating you could probably eat more.

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5188 · March 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Eating more anything is asking to get fat. If you're in a rush to add muscle then you'll almost certainly gain a bit of fat along the way. My point was simply that if you think you might gain faster or better by eating more then you might as well eat more fat rather than add carbs. As you say, fat is a better fuel for you. Where are you with sugars though - throwing berries and honey in can add a lot with less stress on the digestion than a potato. It's an option. Also, are you avoiding dairy? And if so is there any good reason? Better options for adding calories in my opinion.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 8:46 AM

How could I significantly increase calories/food without eating carbs? I'm already at the protein ceiling with 3G/kilo bodymass (nobody here seems to advocate more than that), and getting nearly 200 grams of fat a day. Seems eating MORE fat than that is asking to GET FAT. I certainly dont feel ANY need to use carbs for energy or recovery; ketones are working great. I appreciate the help.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I'm looking to gain mass because at some point, you just need more muscle to get stronger. I've gained A LOT of strength over the years, but unless I ass some mass, I'm at a plateau. I've trained Pavel Tsastouline style focusing on strength for years. Now I'm using his mass gaining routine....heavy weights, 5 reps, many sets, compressed rest periods, 3x week, heavy/light/medium days and waving the load. I've gained 2kg, half fat. Definitely pushing hard, muscles eventually won't contract anymore during a workout, but energy and will never dies....diesel feeling!

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2302 · November 16, 2012 at 4:35 AM

Try using some BCAA's!! Good to prevent muscle breakdown when taken before and after your workout. Lot's of sites about them if you google :)

"Branched chain amino acids also have a reputation for building muscle. Amino acids play a critical role in the muscular development of neonates"

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2407 · November 17, 2012 at 11:45 AM

And they jack up your insulin so you shut down ketosis and fat burning during fasted training, and when you eat carbs post workout, you're fat cells are ready to receive.

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2407 · November 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

And they jack up your insulin so you store anything you shut down ketosis and fat burning during fasted training.

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2799 · March 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

I've been VLC and making gains since Christmas. It was rough until I realized I needed about 16 grams of carbs prework (targeted ketogenic diet) or my energy levels would crash and burn after a few sets. I also lift heavy and keep the total number of sets low.

Are you sure you're not over training? You say "I've been a strong wiry hard gainer all my life no matter WHAT I've tried!" and then you say ", I'm at a plateau. I've trained Pavel Tsastouline style focusing on strength for years. Now I'm using his mass gaining routine....heavy weights, 5 reps, many sets, compressed rest periods, 3x week". It sounds like you may simply be training too much/too often.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Thru my workout. Then I'm not even hungry for hours.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I'm following the Pavel modified DeLorme protocol to the letter, recovering excellently, and progressing in strength. My strength plateau was before I started this protocol, found in Pavel's Beyond Bodybuilding book. Using kettlebells and barbell deadlifts. Don't feel over trained at all. For me, I got used to keto training quickly. I need zero carb to feel powerful all thru my workouts. That sluggish, weak feeling folks talk about when trying to weight train VLC went away in 3 weeks. I eat 325 grams of raw lamb, a TBS of cod oil, wait an hour, and feel like I'm on diesel fuel all

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6709 · March 28, 2012 at 1:28 PM

First, don't listen to anyone who tells you that you need to be in a calorie excess in order to gain muscle. IF this were true then it would mean that it is impossible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, which clearly is possible.

What is muscle? Protein+Glycogen+Fat+WATER. How many grams of protein does 1lb of muscle contain? 454 Grams right? Wrong. It contains between 30-45 grams of protein and that is all. The rest? Glycogen, Water and fat in varying amounts depending on the muscle/person/genetics/etc.

That being said, since you have been VLCing it, IF you glycogen load you will gain LBM guaranteed, and possibly 5-10lbs worth. No, you do not need to eat 45,000 calories worth of food to gain that. LOL.

For every gram of glycogen stored in your muscle its either 3 or 4 grams of water (i forget I just woke up) that are attached to it. This all adds up really fast to make 1lb (454 grams).

So, CAN YOU gain 5lbs of muscle by only consuming about 1lb of glucose/fructose/lactose/dextrose/maltose/etc? YES, YES you can. Regardless of what the supplement manufacturers would have you believe.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:01 PM

In ADDITION to my fat and protein calories.

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2407 · March 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Interesting. That's basically the leangains line. Its what I'm trying. Starting with 50g carbs post workout meal 3x week, Japanese Yam (satsumaimo). It makes me feel awful. Flush in the face, mood drops, yuck. I think I've become insulin resistant/carb unadapted since being keto adapted. Not sure the glucose is going into the muscle....feels like it stays in my blood a long time. I'll try for a few weeks to see if I adapt. By it feels awful.

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